Chapter 74: The Preliminary Battle
In the morning at the Colosseum, the number of players hanging around there was higher than usual. The commotion would be intense like this on the fifteenth of every month. The monthly battle tournament usually consisted of six to eight rounds. However, for this month, it seemed the number of rounds had been decreased to three or four. The detailed information would only be available before the tournament started.
Sila went into the Colosseum and informed the NPC of his arrival. Then, he went to the waiting room.
Upon entering the room, many eyes were staring at him. The atmosphere inside the room was intense and filled with the emittance of power. These powers were not used to oppress the opposing party but rather to gauge the ability of each individual.
Sila didn't want to waste his energy so he kept his qi within his body instead of releasing it. With Sila's Qi Concealment, many players in the room looked at Sila with contempt.
Sila sat on the bench in the room. Only a handful of people were having a conversation. Many eyes fell onto Sila but Sila did his best to ignore.
Entering a battle tournament wasn't something unusual for Sila. Before Teacher Mora went missing, he always brought Sila to compete against other dojos on a monthly basis. Sila had once asked his teacher why he had to compete against other dojos, but his teacher didn't reply.
In those tournaments, Sila sometimes won and sometimes lost. He mostly lost though. One thing he had learnt from those tournaments was to not be intimidated before the fight.
The triangular jewel on Sila's finger flashed without anyone noticing. In this tournament, Sila had brought Lookhin with him despite how the usual rules clearly stated that no pets were allowed. As for Bow, he no longer wanted to keep her in the ring after he had found out that she was a real girl. To prevent something bad from happening to her, Sila had left Bow in Sebastian's care in the VIP room that Burapha had prepared. Well, it might be a needless worry since Poluk would also be there with her. Poluk said he wanted to witness Sila's growth.
The door was opened again. This time, the player entering was a small young woman. Her face was delicate but her eyes were as fierce as a tiger's. These eyes of hers stared at Sila before she approached him. This young woman was Ginny.
"Hello, Miss Ginny." Sila was the first to greet her.
"Um, you, I forgot to add you into my friends list yesterday."
"I thought so. There are many things we need to talk about."
Afterward, the two added each other into their friends lists. Sila told Ginny about what Burapha had said to him, about him wanting to sell the sword and the flaw in their bet.
However, Ginny didn't seem to listen to what Sila was saying. She just stared at her system window.
Sila wondered if there was something wrong. "What's wrong?"
"Are you only at Knight Rank?" Ginny asked with doubt.
"Hm? How did you know?"
"B-grade system window," She curtly answered.
"Does it allow you to look at the a friend's rank? Wow, cool. Mine is only C-grade."
Ginny didn't continue to talk. She was greatly suspecting Sila's ability. She planned to ask whether Sila had killed Dorolia alone but decided not to. The Dorolia Sword was all the proof she needed. It would drop only when a player manages to kill Dorolia in a one-on-one battle.
She just didn't understand how Sila could do it. Even she who was a Marquis Rank player couldn't do it yet. Dorolia was a calm and collected dragon. It was unlikely that Sila could manage to kill it even with a plan.
Actually, except for his own ability, the fact that Sila could kill the dragon was due to the help of slime skills. Slime skills are powerful and dangerous. They are also specifically designed to compete against dragons.
"Little Girl, don't waste your time talking to that little newbie. Come and talk to me instead," One man teased Ginny, followed by a laughter from other players.
It was uncommon for a female player to participate in Colossia's battle tournament. Female players tend to play as long-range attackers or supporters. Even the combat ones don't usually take part in the battle tournament. Thus, Ginny quickly became the center of attention.
Though, unlike Sila, she didn't hesitate to unleash her oppressive magic power. Silence fell. Many of male players shut their mouths and stopped making fun of her.
A system sound echoed across the Colosseum.
"Dear all participants, due to the number of participants this month being higher than usual, the tournament host has decided that a preliminary battle is needed. We will soon randomly sort and teleport each participant to one of eight battle zones that are separated from each other."
Commotion followed the announcement. Colossia's battle tournament had never had a preliminary battle before.
The system sound continued. Everyone had to quiet down to listen.
"In the preliminary battle, all contestants have to fight against each other in a battle royale style. The last survivor of each battle zone will enter the quarterfinals. The rest of the rules are the same as before; no pets, potions, or supplements are allowed to be used."
At the end of the sentence, every contestant was randomly teleported away one by one. Sila was one of them.
In Colossia's Colosseum.
All kinds of people were sitting and preparing to watch the tournament. There were ten VIP rooms available. One of them was booked by Sila's acquaintances.
Lone Wolf and Ratri were also here. Both of them had happened to meet Varee a moment ago and Burapha had invited them into the room to observe the battle. Varee and Burapha weren't close to Lone Wolf so no one had asked him yet about the reason for his arrival.
The sound telling them about the change of the rules ended, causing Lone Wolf's brows to furrow. The battle tournament of this month was very fishy. He had never heard about the preliminary battle before.
"Let's hope that it won't become a problem," Lone Wolf said.
"What's the problem?" Burapha asked. Although he had done his research about Colossia's battle tournament, this was actually his first time being related to it.
"Well, it might be my needless worrying. I just think that the battle is indeed as distrustful as I have suspected. As expected of Royal Armament guild, especially during this time when the war event is near," Lone Wolf said.
"With this, can that guy Sila win?" Ratri said. She was the only one in the room who had never met Sila.
"That's fine. I think Sila can manage it. Although Cross wants to cheat, he couldn't do it too obvious since there are many people here. He wouldn't risk damaging his guild reputation too much. In the end, the deciding factor is contestant's ability."
"Even if that's the case. How confident you are that Sila will win? Don't forget that this matter is related to our sect," Rati continued.
Varee and Burapha began to wonder. How did Sila's victory or defeat relate to Victorious Wolves Sect? However, before Lone Wolf could answer, the door of the VIP room was opened.
Sebastian, Poluk, and Bow entered. Sila had already mentioned to Varee and Burapha that these three would join to observe the fight. Nevertheless, except for Burapha who had met Bow and Lone Wolf who had met Sebastian, no one had met these three before.
"Sebastian?" Lone Wolf exclaimed, "How can you be here?"
"Hello again, Mister Lone Wolf. It seems we meet again," Sebastian greeted him.
In the mansion, Sebastian might be restricted by some kind of condition to not harm him and Sila. However, this place was another story. Lone Wolf didn't know whether Sebastian was friend or foe so he secretly circulated his qi. He couldn't imagine the danger of a Lord-Rank monster.
"Welcome, Bow. I will introduce everyone to you," Burapha talked to Bow and started to introduced people to her, "This is Big Sister Varee, Mister Lone Wolf, and Miss Ratri who is Mister Lone Wolf's friend."
"Hello everyone, my name is Bow. The persons next to me are Sebby and Uncle Poluk." Bow lowered her head.
"It can talk? Is this one the rumored pink slime?" Ratri stared intently at Bow, "What are you guys to Sila?"
"My status is a pet. Well, to be exact, I'm Mister Sila's butler. As for Bow, she is Mister Sila's Little Sister."
"Sebby is not a pet. Sebby is my Big Brother," Bow argued.
For the record, Sila didn't like the sound of a 'pet'. Lookhin was one thing, but Bow was actual person while Sebastian was stronger than him. Thus, Sila regarded Bow as his Little Sister and regarded Sebastian as his butler.
"A pet? You? Aren't you a player?" Ratri asked.
"I'm not human. I'm a monster," replied Sebastian.
For the record, the AIs in this game were set to understand that Monster Soul wasn't the in-game world. Every time player mentions the word 'player', they would comprehend that word as 'human'. Meanwhile, when the word 'real world' or 'outside the game' is mentioned, they would comprehend such place as the special dimension that only allows human to access.
"A monster? But you're clearly a human. Oh? Are you a monster that has the appearance similar to human?" Ratri continued asking.
Lone Wolf stopped the uncomprehending Ratri by stating the fact, "Mister Sebastian is a Lord Rank monster."
Burapha and Ratri were agape. Even Varee who was giving her attention to Bow was startled. She knew the best that Sila had only been playing this game for two weeks in real time. How could he manage to keep a Lord Rank monster as his pet? This was very incomprehensible for her.
"Lord Rank monster in a normal dimension? That's crazy. This is big news," Ratri said while keeping her distance away from Sebastian. She started to concentrate her power to prepare for a fight that might occur.
Meanwhile, Lone Wolf had quit circulating his qi long ago. He could sense that Sebastian didn't possess any evil intentions. Now, what he was more interested in was the other man. This man should be a qi-type like him. Lone Wolf had tried to probe this man's ability for a while but it was useless. He couldn't measure the depth of this man's power. That would mean this man's ability was higher than him.
The man who possessed higher qi than him, the Qi Emperor. Lone Wolf was dying to know this man's identity and the relationship between this man and Sila.
"What about this Uncle? Are you also a pet?" Ratri directly asked.
"Ratri! Be quiet!" This was a first time that Lone Wolf scolded Ratri. Not to mention her, even the rest of the players were panic that Lone Wolf seemed to be this anxious.
How could Lone Wolf not be anxious? At the very least, this man's ability should be above his. Ratri was always with him. At the Victorious Wolves Sect, she was free to act without thinking. This lead to her being unthoughtful with her words.
If this man was upset and wanted to kill Ratri, Lone Wolf wasn't certain that he could protect her.
Ratri's eyes moistened, looking at her lover. Lone Wolf had never scolded her before.
"I'm sorry. She doesn't know what's what," Lone Wolf expressed his apology to Poluk.
"Don't worry. I don't mind. By the way, I'm not Sila's pet. I'm just his acquaintance," Poluk replied.
Poluk's friendly tone lessened Lone Wolf's tension. He let out a big sigh and turned his head to comfort Ratri. However, she sulked.
"Young Miss, don't be angry at this young man. He is just worried about you. He even circulated Sun God Qi just to protect you from me. His ability is not bad," Poluk said. In Monster Soul, there should only be a handful of people who could regard Lone Wolf as 'not bad'. However, Lone Wolf didn't feel humiliated. Instead, he began to admire Poluk.
"Uncle Poluk is very kind. He wouldn't be angry. However, if Big Sister did that to Master Viola… I don't dare imagine the result. Anyway, Uncle Poluk is my uncle."
"Bow's uncle? Is that mean…?" Burapha was curious.
"Correct. I'm a slime," Poluk filled the sentence.
Everyone in the roomed was shocked. This meant Poluk must be a Lord-Rank monster too.
"Two Lord Rank monsters in this room. Hermit won't believe me," Ratri muttered.
"Better stop talking about us and pay attention to the tournament instead. The battle is about to start," Poluk said, causing everyone to shift their interest to the arenas within Colosseum. There were currently eight arenas in their sight.
"Where is Big Brother Sila?" Bow asked. After spending her time looking for a while, she could spot Sila in the fourth arena. Sila could easily be spotted as he was the only person wearing Beginner Clothes.
"Why is Big Brother Sila still wearing Beginner Clothes?" Burapha was curious. He had believed that Sila was wearing Beginner Clothes to increase the credibility of Bluebird's rumors. However, Sila should stop that already as the bet had been placed.
"Big Brother Sila's clothes were ragged after his fight against Snow Dragon Dorolia, that's why," Bow answered this question of Burapha. She was listening to this story from Poluk at last night.
"Snow Dragon Dorolia? Unbelievable. How could a new player fight against a dragon?" Ratri argued.
"I didn't lie! Big Brother Sila really did fight against the Snow Dragon alone."
Ratri looked at Bow's puffed cheek. She said, "I didn't mean that you're lying. But, umm, maybe your Big Brother was able to hunt it with the help of his friends. There would be no sane person who fights solo against a dragon.
Poluk didn't say anything but let out a mysterious laugh, "Fufu."
"Then, Big Brother Sila is really not a sane person. I have the evidence that he solo-killed the dragon. Look at this," Burapha took out the Dorolia Sword that Sila entrusted him to take care of it.
Ratri looked at the sword with her widened eyes.
"Guys, look at the arena. The number of people is strange," Varee, who was looking at Sila, spoke.
Then, everyone noticed. The number of contestants in the fourth arena was significantly higher than others. They were more than fifty contestants in the fourth arena while the rest only had around ten contestants each. Some arenas even had only three contestants.
"It's Cross' work," Lone Wolf said. He spotted that more than half of the contestants in the fourth arena belonged to the Royal Armament guild. It seemed the 'random sorting' was not as 'random' as it should be.
"This seems fun. It reminds me of my old days," Poluk said.
Ratri looked at everyone in the room with a peculiar feeling. Although many of them said that they were worried about Sila, they showed no concern on their faces. Good grief, she looked at the Dorolia Sword and sighed. Her eyes were fixed on the only player who wore the Beginner Clothes.
What was special about this man? Why did everyone seem have faith in him?